Hakuna Matata: Worry less, rest more

When your mind is agitated it becomes difficult to see, but when you let it settle, the answer becomes clear.
*Kung Fu Panda

5-22-13 Kung Fu Panda

My editorial calendar (self-created, in an attempt at writing discipline) demands a re-post today.

One year ago, I posted this Kung Fu Panda truth statement as a mid-week encouragement. The quote hung in my therapist’s office for the entire year I saw her. It’s probably still there. But that’s okay, because it’s a good one. I go back to it again and again.

There are so many opportunities in our everyday life for worry to clutter out any sense of calm or peace: work, kids, spouse, finances, pets, travel, storms, public speaking… You name it, and it has probably stolen at least a cluster of moments from your mind that has been begging you to relax. Begging you to just settle down so it can get a moment’s rest.

We saw “Blended” tonight and it was hilarious. We laughed so hard we were crying. And since it was a chick flick, there was a fair amount of sentiment to it, as well. (And while the Google commercial before the movie did make me cry, surprisingly the movie did not).
One of the more poignant lines came from Adam Sandler; he talked about how rarely adults worry about themselves, they’re always taking care of someone else (he said this in the context of kids, but it’s true for non-parents, too). We can all confess to spending our time worrying about this, that and the other thing, focused on anything and everything but the rest our minds actually need.
Sometimes we’re afraid to face ourselves. Sometimes we’re afraid to let others down. Sometimes we’re bored. Sometimes we have convinced ourselves that we are the world’s next greatest fortune teller because we just know that disaster is on its way. Sometimes we’re in survival mode and don’t even realize it. Whatever the reason, keeping our minds unsettled leads to nothing but agitation and exhaustion.

There are a million reasons for you to work now, rest later; worry now, relax later.
But maybe, if you let yourself relax and settled your mind into a peaceful place for even just a little while, you’ll see things in a whole new light. Maybe, if you can remember that 80% of the things people worry about don’t even come to pass, you can sit back and put your feet up, choosing to believe that your spouse will not be struck by lightening when he’s taking out the trash in a thunder storm. Maybe you won’t feel paralyzed by worry and fear every time you step onto an airplane because you know that, statistically, it’s the safest form of travel, and you’re going to choose to enjoy the flight instead of being terrified until the wheels hit the next runway.

You can do this. We can do this. We are a safety-crazed nation that takes worrying to an extreme. But we can do this. We can trust and have faith and settle our minds so that peace and calm have room to make our minds their home. Way more fun than agitation and exhaustion. And a great way to share a powerful story of faith to share with each other.

Be brave. Don’t worry, be happy. Hakuna Matata!

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. *Mth 6:34
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? *Mth 6:27


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